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December 18, 1937


JAMA. 1937;109(25):2072. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780510046014

Claude Bernard's discovery in 1848 of glycogen in the liver had far reaching significance. Not only had hedemonstrated a "nouvelle fonction du foie" but through the experimental approach employed he opened a question of fundamental significance in intermediary metabolism; he offered convincing evidence of the transformation of protein to carbohydrate in the animal organism. Soon after the announcement of this new function of the liver, somewhat similar cogent evidence of the change of carbohydrate to fat was developed by Lawes and Gilbert. The fundamental nature of protein metabolism compelled investigators in this field to consider seriously the extent of the metabolic transformation of protein to sugar. Aminoacetic acid was shown to increase the hepatic glycogen in fasting rabbits. Studies on diabetic patients showed that some two thirds of the meat and gelatin fed appeared as urinary sugar. Later it was demonstrated that aminoacetic acid, alanine and asparagin were changed to